I’ve starred the ones I’ve read and enjoyed. Thanks to everyone who responded.
Pope Joan, Donna Woolfolk Cross
Pillars of the Earth
The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley *
Howdy. I’m reading Rene Dumal’s “A night of serious drinking”…and enjoying it.
The book before that was decent…”Predictably Irrational”, by a professor at MIT who studies the ways that people make decisions.
I’m right in the middle of John Irving’s “The Fourth Hand”. It’s got all the earmarks of an Irving novel — unusual physical deformity, rich internal monologue, iconoclastic women — but it’s funnier and sexier than his other novels. Definitely one I would recommend, andread again.
Also check out Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness if you haven’t already: a great exploration of the human psyche and the “happiness” we’re all searching for. I just checked this out from the library.
Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
The Poisonwood Bible - Barara Kingsolver *
Unless - Carol Sheilds
Water for Elephants -Sara Gruen
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain *
A Long Way Gone Memoirs of a Boy Soilder - Ishmael Beah
Being Peace & Peace Is Every Step by Thich Naht Hahn * one of the most helpful books I’ve ever read
All About Love by bell hooks
Our Enemies in Blue by Kristian Williams
5th & Vanguard by Lee Adams (a Long Beach author)
Caucasia by Danzy Senna (went to UC Irvine )
I would recommend Seed to Seed, the secret life of plants, by Nicholas Harber. It’s a leading plant scientist’s journal of a year. He talks about the science of plants but also about a lot of other stuff – it’s all connected to the science, but it is not just the little details about cells. He moves from a place of thinking only about plants in the lab to thinking about the incredible connection between everything, what his kids think about his work, and other things.
Follow The Cowherd Boy JA Joshi
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger *
The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett *
The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin. I read the initial 3-book trilogy when I was young – and re-read them recently, only to discover that there are 3 more books in the series; definitely worth reading too.
Why Sex is Fun by Jared Diamond
How Buildings Learn by Stewart Brandt *
High Tide in Tucson - collection of non-fiction from Barbara Kingsolver. Rocks!
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln Doris Kearns Goodwin
I’m in the middle of “Everything is Illuminated” by Jonathan Safran Foer and it is one of the best books I have read this year. I say that and I’m not even done with it yet. *
His wife, Nicole Krauss, wrote this book called “The History of Love”, and that was the best book that I read in 2008.
If you have not read Kesey’s “Sometimes a Great Notion” you owe it to yourself. It is a challenge but once you sort out the characters in the first 50 pages or so, it’s easier going. Every Oregonian should read it.
Another (this one non-fiction category) that every Oregonian should read, is “Fire at Eden’s Gate” by Brent Walth. * It is the biography of Tom McCall, the republic governor who championed some of the most progressive legislation this state has seen.
Non-fiction-Annie Proulx- anything, but mostly her short stories…my favorite being the short “Brokeback Mountain” such craft, such beautiful craft. She’s my hero.
Poetry-Lately really loving this poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning called “the musical instrument” and just re-read “the raven” * by Poe and love it every time.
Fun mind candy- P.G. Wodehouse- just good british satire…and many a “restorative” aka cocktail.
Classics- I like Hemingway’s collection of short stories “snows of kilamanjaro”
Another Classic- “the good earth” by Pearl Buck…I’m always drawn to the parable-like, simple yet complex metaphor stuff.
Love, lust, longing?- Neruda.
Non-Fiction- The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout, eye opening…you’ll never look at your co-workers/friends the same.
Right now I am reading “The Crimson Petal and the White” by Michael Faber. It’s a big lusty book and I am really enjoying it. If you really want to sink your teeth into something, try “The Pillars of the Earth” and the sequel, “World Without End” by Ken Follett. My final recommendation is “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy.
So many books-so little time!
P.S. I purchased all these books (both new and used), at the St. Johns Bookseller.
Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos
Sing Them Home is a deeply moving portrait of three grown siblings who have lived in the shadow of unresolved grief since their mother’s mysterious disappearance when they were children. Everyone in Emlyn Springs, Nebraska, knows the story of Hope Jones, the physician’s wife whose big dreams for their tiny town were lost along with her in the tornado of 1978. For Hope’s three young children, the stability of life with their distant, preoccupied father, and with Viney, their mother’s spitfire best friend, is no match for their mother’s absence. Larken, the eldest, is an art history professor who seeks in food an answer to a less tangible hunger; Gaelan, the only son, is a telegenic weatherman who devotes his life to predicting the unpredictable and whose profession, and all too much more, depend on his sculpted frame and ready smile; and Bonnie, the baby of the family is a self-proclaimed archivist who combs the roadsides for clues to her mother’s legacy, and permission to move on.
When, decades after their mother’s disappearance, they are summoned home after their father’s sudden death, they are forced to revisit the childhood tragedy at the center of their lives. With breathtaking lyricism, wisdom, and humor, Stephanie Kallos explores the consequences of protecting the ones we love.
Sing Them Home is a magnificent tapestry of lives connected and undone by tragedy, lives poised—unbeknownst to the characters themselves—for redemption.
Olive Kitterage by Elizabeth Strout
Olive Kitteridge is “a novel of stories,” that all revolve around Olive Kitteridge, a retired seventh-grade math teacher in Crosby, Maine. She’s married to Henry, a kind pharmacist and they have one son. Olive, though, is a larger-than-life force to be reckoned with. She’s large, stubborn, opinionated, and more than willing to speak her mind. The thirteen stories concern her relationship with her husband, her son, her neighbors, and her ex-students. Olive is more complex and feeling than she seems, and she struggles with the changes in her life. Elizabeth Strout’s novel has received positive reviews with the New York Times saying, “The pleasure in reading Olive Kitteridge comes from an intense identification with complicated, not always admirable, characters. And there are moments in which slipping into a character’s viewpoint seems to involve the revelation of an emotion more powerful and interesting than simple fellow feeling – a complex, sometimes dark, sometimes life-sustaining dependency on others. There’s nothing mawkish or cheap here. There’s simply the honest recognition that we need to try to understand people, even if we can’t stand them.”
I loved a graphic novel called Fun House * by Alison Bechdel, the same artist who did Dykes to Watch Our For. Great, quick, moving.
Personally like JD Robb and JA Jance. Do you enjoy murder mysteries?
Well behaved women rarely make history.
Reading all kinds of books for school, if you want some serious feminist theology, She Who Is by Elizabeth Johnson is great (though dense.)
Dan Reed Miller
Definitely read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Also, if you have a lot of time and you like historical fiction, Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson is by far the most entertaining epic-length romp through history I have ever had the pleasure of reading. For fantasy, anything by George R.R. Martin is sure to please; if you are into the Law of Attraction or the Secret, I found a real gem: Feel it Real by Denise Coates.
Brookland - Emily Barton
Tree of Smoke - Denis Johnson
Then We Came to an End - Joshua Ferris
The Plot Against America - Philip Roth
March - Geraldine Brooks
A Gesture Life - Chang Rae Lee
Last One In - Nicholas Kulish
The End - Salvatore Scibona
Name All the Animals - Allison Smith
Straight Man - Richard Russo